Motion Pacific is a 501(c)3 charitable arts organization dedicated to dance as art, cultivating imagination, community engagement and discipline through accessible dance education and presentation.
Motion Pacific offers over 1500 dance classes each year for students aged 3 and up. The dance program supports over 100 youth/teen students per semester, as well as a vibrant population of adult dancers. Classes cater to dancers who are just beginning, to those at the pre-professional level. In addition to our regularly scheduled curriculum, Motion Pacific holds dance workshops throughout the year, hosting artists from the local, regional, national, and international stages.
At Motion Pacific, the presentation of dance thrives at all levels. To this end, we run several programs in addition to our bi-annual performance seasons. The emerging choreographer Incubator Project provides resources and mentorship for early career artists. Our max10 program is an uncurated presentation of short works presented in a low-tech environment. Majesty: A Queer Dance Party and Variety Show hosts drag, burlesque, and queer artistry. Every April, Motion Pacific hosts Santa Cruz Dance Week, a public performance for dance studios and groups in the greater Santa Cruz area. Finally, we co-host the BBQueer Fest, an annual series of workshops, classes, performances, and panels for and by the Black, Brown, and Queer communities. These programs seek feedback and discussion between artists, audiences, and peers.
Motion Pacific is committed to racial justice and and working to become an anti-racist organization. Motion Pacific pledges to address the racial inequity affecting our BIPOC communities. As an organization committed to accessible dance and community engagement, Motion Pacific will work to address the white supremacy that exists in the culture of dance in this country and within our organizational structure. As we work to rebuild into the future, racial equity and social justice will be at the core of how we reimagine our organization. We will be implementing anti-racism practices and equity frameworks to ensure the continuity and sustainability of this work. This will include organization wide implicit bias and anti-racism trainings and the implementation of a committee dedicated to facilitating this ongoing work.
Coming from a place of humility, we acknowledge that this is an ongoing and rigorous learning and growing process; we are committed to this work as individuals and an organization. Motion Pacific is committed to working towards a world that is free from racial injustice, where equity is centered and our communities thrive.
Motion Pacific opened on January 16th, 1998. Founders Molly Heaster, Carmela Woll, and Greg Favor pulled together to create a space for those who had formerly worked and danced at All the Right Moves (ATRM). Their goal was to establish an outstanding facility that would train dancers and provide opportunities for students to showcase their skills. Combining a diversity of dance styles not typically offered under the same roof (hip-hop, funk, ballet, tap, jazz, African dance, and breakdancing), Motion Pacific was able to offer unique artistic collaborations and cross-training for its dancers.
In 2009, Abra Allan became the Owner/Director of Motion Pacific. During Abra’s directorship, Motion Pacific expanded our presenting programming, solidified our standing as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and renovated a 4000 square foot warehouse in downtown Santa Cruz.
Ten years later, current Executive Director Colette Tabone took over and now steers Motion Pacific towards increased accessibility to dance and movement. Under her leadership and the leadership of our Board of Trustees, Motion Pacific has increased partnerships with local nonprofits and expanded our reach to encompass the programs described above. Motion Pacific continues to offer a variety of dance and movement programs for dancers and movers of all ages and abilities.
Website photos by Natsha Lozanoff, Michael Baba, Angela Hesse, Crystal Birns, Jay Melena, Peter Nguyen, Mara Milam, Beau Saunders, Rosie Chesney, Yvonne Portra and Steve DiBartolomeo